Hundreds of armed extremists flying the black flag of the Islamic State movement in the Middle East occupied Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23.
General Carlito Galvez said in a statement issued Sunday that troops finally regained the Bato Mosque and the Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation as well as the Jamaitul Philippine Al-Islamiyah buildings at past 5 p.m. on Saturday.
"We have an ongoing rescue operation at the main battle area". It has been pounding the battle area with air strikes throughout the week.
In addition to increasing their numbers with civilians, the Maute group also has been reported to be augmenting their production of improvised explosive devices by using dud bombs dropped by government forces.
This developed as Colonel Romeo Brawner, the deputy head of Joint Task Force Marawi, disclosed that some Maute terrorists have responded favourably to the military's appeal that they surrender.
Some 600 terrorists have been killed since May 23 when the Maute Group attacked Marawi and took over some government buildings, hospitals, schools and banks.
"They now force the hostages, especially the male hostages to fight with them, " Brawner said on GMA 7 news program 24 Oras. "(But) we can not give you details as of now lest we imperil the lives not only of our soldiers but more so that of the hostages", Arevalo said.
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) - Hostaged Marawi priest Father Teresito "Chito" Soganub was rescued Saturday night, September 16, along with another hostage who is yet to be named.
Accounts from hostages who either escaped or were rescued said the militants had forced them to convert to Islam, carry wounded fighters to mosques, and the women to marry militants.
The military chief of the city of Marawi, which Daesh terrorists took over in May, said on Sunday that forces had captured the militants' command center after a fierce battle and were now engaged in a mopping-up operation.
There was no information on the fate of other hostages that Suganob said could reach more than 200, including six other teachers from Dansalan College, when he appealed to Duterte on a video released by IS in May as proof of life.